STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Duke freshman Becca Ward captured the Duke fencing program’s second NCAA Championship after defeating Harvard’s Carolina Vloka 15-4 in the 2009 women’s saber gold medal bout Sunday afternoon.
Ward, a bronze medalist in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, rolled through the entire 24-competitor women’s saber field, losing just one of her 25 bouts during the two-day National Championship run. Ward became just the second fencer in Duke history to win an NCAA Championship, joining 1996 winner Jeremy Kahn.
Ward’s run to the NCAA Championship included a 15-9 win over Columbia’s Daria Schneider in the semifinals and a 22-1 record during the first seven rounds of competition. Her 15-4 victory over Vloka in the gold medal bout was the biggest championship round win at the tournament.
Ward led all fencers (men and women) at the 2009 NCAA Championships in touches scored (114) during the first seven rounds, while receiving the fewest touches (37) of any competitor in the event during that span. Her +77 differential was also the best of all fencers at every weapon.
A native of Portland, Ore., Ward led all Duke fencers with a 53-2 record during the regular season. She helped Duke’s women’s saber squad finish 17-3 during the season before capturing first place at the Atlantic/South Regionals.
Behind Ward’s 22 wins and 15 victories from men’s foil Dan Cohen, Duke finished 11th as a team, despite entering just five fencers.
For complete results from the 2009 NCAA Fencing Championships, visit the official website of the NCAA at www.NCAA.com.